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Building In Fife
American Fast Freight, Inc. is expanding soon.

New Northwest Container Terminal
The Port of Tacoma will proceed with plans to develop the east side of the Blair Waterway.

Alaska Zoo Considers Moving Elephant
The Alaska Zoo is considering a proposal to relocate Maggie, Alaska´s only elephant.

Port of Seattle Could See Delays
Interstate lane closures in Seattle could delay freight from Seattle to Alaska.

Disputed Northwest Passage
Canada and the United States increase military presence in the Arctic.

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Source: Alaska is arguably the least-connected state in terms of road transportation. The state's road system covers a relatively small area of the state, linking the central population centers and the Alaska Highway, the principal route out of the state through Canada. The state capital, Juneau, is not accessible by road, which has spurred several debates over the decades about moving the capital to a city on the road system. One unique feature of the road system is the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, which links the Seward Highway south of Anchorage with the relatively isolated community of Whittier. The tunnel held the title of the longest road tunnel in North America (at nearly 2.5 miles ) until completion of the 3.5 mile (5.6km) Interstate 93 tunnel as part of the "Big Dig" project in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Alaska Railroad runs from Seward through Anchorage, Denali, and Fairbanks to North Pole, with spurs to Whittier and Palmer. The railroad is famous for its summertime passenger services but also plays a vital part in moving Alaska's natural resources, such as coal and gravel, to ports in Anchorage, Whittier and Seward. The Alaska Railroad is the only remaining railroad in North America to use cabooses on its freight trains. A stretch of the track along an area inaccessible by road serves as the only transportation to cabins in the area.

Most cities and villages in the state are accessible only by sea or air. Alaska has a well-developed ferry system, known as the Alaska Marine Highway, which serves the cities of Southeast and the Alaska Peninsula. The system also operates a ferry service from Bellingham, Washington up the Inside Passage to Skagway. Cities not served by road or sea can only be reached by air, accounting for Alaska's extremely well-developed Bush air services—an Alaskan novelty.

Anchorage itself, and to a lesser extent Fairbanks, are serviced by many major airlines. Air travel is the cheapest and most efficient form of transportation in and out of the state. Anchorage recently completed extensive remodeling and construction at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to help accommodate the upsurge in tourism (unofficial sources have estimated the numbers for 2004 at some four million tourists arriving in Alaska between May and September).

However, regular flights to most villages and towns within the state are commercially challenging to provide. Alaska Airlines is the only major airline offering in-state travel with jet service (sometimes in combination cargo and passenger Boeing 737-200s) from Anchorage and Fairbanks to regional hubs like Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, Dillingham, Kodiak, and other larger communities as well as to major Southeast and Alaska Peninsula communities. The bulk of remaining commercial flight offerings come from small regional commuter airlines like: Era Aviation, PenAir, and Frontier Flying Service. The smallest towns and villages must rely on scheduled or chartered Bush flying services using general aviation aircraft such as the Cessna Caravan, the most popular aircraft in use in the state. Much of this service can be attributed to the Alaska bypass mail program which subsidizes bulk mail delivery to Alaskan rural communities. The program requires 70% of that subsidy to go to carriers who offer passenger service to the communities. But perhaps the most quintessentially Alaskan plane is the Bush seaplane. The world's busiest seaplane base is Lake Hood, located next to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, where flights bound for remote villages without an airstrip carry passengers, cargo, and lots of items from stores and warehouse clubs.

Another Alaskan transportation method is the dogsled. In modern times, dog mushing is more of a sport than a true means of transportation. Various races are held around the state, but the best known is the Iditarod, a 1,150-mile (1850 km) trail from Anchorage to Nome. The race commemorates the famous 1925 serum run to Nome in which mushers and dogs like Balto took much-needed medicine to the diphtheria-stricken community of Nome when all other means of transportation had failed. Mushers from all over the world come to Anchorage each March to compete for cash prizes and prestige.


Alaska State

Source: The United States purchased Alaska from Russia for 7.2 million dollars (averaging 2 cents per acre). On January 3rd, 1959, Alaska became the 49th state to join the union and to this day is the largest state (570,374 square miles); larger than Texas, California and Montana combined.

Alaska with estimated population of 663,661 (as of 2005) and about a 6% in growth is the least densely populated state but enjoys having the 14th largest average per-capita income in the United States.


Anchorage, Alaska

Source: Anchorage is a Unified Home Rule Municipality (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage) in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is also a census area. With 260,283 residents according to the 2000 census, Anchorage is the largest city in the state of Alaska, comprising more than two-fifths of the state's population. A State of Alaska Demographer in 2004 estimates the population at 277,498. Anchorage was founded in 1915 and named after a place where a ship lies at anchor. Its official nickname is "The City of Lights and Flowers". Garden writers call Anchorage the "Hanging Basket Capital of the World" when it comes to the city's 100,000 hanging baskets, and aviation buffs refer to the city as the "Air Crossroads of the World" because of its geographical location between the two northern continents.

In downtown Anchorage along the streets and sidewalks are 425 baskets of bright gold triploid marigold drenched with trailing sapphire lobelia. The blue and gold flowers represent the colors of the Municipality of Anchorage flag and the Alaska state flag. The city of Anchorage blooms with vibrant color during the late spring and summer.

Today Anchorage has many features of a modern urban area, such as parks and forests, bike and city trails, skiing and cross-country ski trails, business and commerce, theaters and other entertainments. The tourist industry is strong and offers many activities and attractions.


Fairbanks, Alaska

Source: Fairbanks is a Home Rule City in Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, United States. At the 2000 census, the population of the city was 30,224. A State of Alaska Demographer in 2004 estimates the population of the city at 29,954.

Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska, and second largest in the state, according to the census. The nearby College is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the oldest college in Alaska.


Juneau, Alaska

Source: Juneau City and Borough is a city-borough located on the Gastineau Channel on the Alexander Archipelago in the State of Alaska, United States, and is the capital of the state. The City of Juneau is co-terminous with the borough and is thus the only incorporated place and is designated the borough seat.

The city, Alaska's third-largest in terms of population, is nestled at the base of Mount Juneau and across the channel from Douglas Island. As of the 2000 census, the City and Borough had a population of 30,711. The Census Bureau's population estimate as of 2004 for the City and Borough was 31,118.

Juneau was named after gold prospector Joe Juneau. The Tlingit name of the town is Dzántik'i Héeni "flounder creek", and Auke Bay just north of Juneau proper is called Aakh'w "little lake" in Tlingit. The Taku River just south of Juneau was named after the cold t'aakh wind that blows down from the mountains, and is the source of some of Juneau's more unpleasant weather.


Links of Interest - State of Alaska home page - State of Alaska Department of Transportation - Welcome to Alaska - Alaska shipping and freight services - Alaska Volcano Observatory - Alaska Oceans Program

May require a PDF reader

Alaska Shipping Transportation Profile - DOT Office of Freight Management and Operations
America's Freight Transportation Gateways - Bureau of Transporation Statistics
Maritime Shipping Terms - Glossary of ocean related shipping terms
Trucking Glossary - Common terms used in trucking


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